Wednesday, 4 July 2012

More words than pictures

For reasons that... well, let's just say there are reasons, this blog and indeed my life is now a solo venture. I'm temporarily living with my friend Sue in East Sutton. The two main consequences of this as far as the blog goes are that a) I now have access to a new chunk of countryside (plus a lovely rural garden) and b) I am forced to use the most recalcitrant photo-editing set-up it's ever been my profound misfortune to encounter so there may be a bit of a shortage of photos for a while.

So I have lots of places to explore, if it would only stop raining, and hopefully lots of photos to take. But the best wildlife I've seen here so far is stuff I've found when I had no camera anyway. On the first day, we went for a walk just across the local lanes, and I found a Green Woodpecker nest hole in a small apple tree, only a metre or so above ground level. I knew it was a Green Woodpecker nest hole because there were strange squeaky noises coming from it, and when I peered at the hole I saw (for a moment, before it ducked) a pretty much full-grown juvenile Green Woodie peering back out at me.

Doing the same walk, two days later, I passed the nest hole (no squeaks now) and then reached a row of tall poplars just as a bird fell out of one of them with much panicked flapping and scrabbling. It was the baby woodie (or one of its siblings), having a dodgy gravity moment. It plopped onto the ground nearly at my feet, and then began rather inexpertly to climb up the tree trunk while I watched and tried to keep my laughter quiet and discreet.

While out running on the lanes, I've met a Badger, a Fox and on another day a Weasel. Linnets and Yellowhammers have been making their presence known, and I've also seen the peculiar local speciality fly-over - Mediterranean Gull.

A few photos, firstly a Small Red Damselfly which was about the only decent Odonata from a trip to the New Forest in unsuitable weather last weekend. Actually there were Keeled Skimmers and Broad-bodied Chasers too, but not the hoped-for Southern Damselflies. I realised later that this was because I'd been looking on the wrong side of the road.

A couple of Collared Doves, from my walk the other morning.

A Slow-worm. No, hang on, two Slow-worms. These were relaxing under a bit of wood in Sue's garden, and I suspect they represent just the tip of a Slow-worm iceberg.

Finally, a Thick-legged Flower Beetle (male, check out his bulging quads) on some kind of daisy.


Phil said...

Hope things work out OK for you Marianne.
Have fun exploring the local area and I look forward to seeing and hearing about what you find.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Marianne,
Phil put me onto your new blog. May I just I feel for you at the moment, it must be a difficult time for you.

Immerse yourself in the wonders of nature, and take solace there :-)

Good luck to you, hope it all turns out well in the end :-)

Keep up the blogging!

Ken. said...

As with Warren, Phil emailed me with you new details, so I have amended my blog with your new address.
Good luck with your new patch, although it seems as if you are already off to a flying start.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Marianne, Like the others, Phil kindly pointed me in your (new) direction. I'm so sorry you have had such an upheaval but glad you have a very good friend to help you through difficult times. It certainly sounds like a lovely place to be living and as Warren says I'm sure you will find solace in Nature. I added a quote to the top of my sidebar a while ago which particularly resonates with me:

'I firmly believe that Nature brings solace in all troubles'
(Anne Frank)

It sounds like you had a lovely encounter with the Green Woodpecker. And Foxes, Badgers, Weasels and Slow-worms should keep you nicely distracted!

I find good old Picassa, though basic, pretty useful for simple photo editing. I also have the very useful PhotoScape, both free and easy to use. I believe Gimp is particularly well thought of and also free but looks a little complicated for a simple soul like me ;-) Hope this helps a bit.

Keep your chin up Marianne...enjoy the beauty of Nature :-)

Marianne said...

Thanks so much for the kind comments, folks, and thanks especially to Phil for passing on my new url. Things are good here, I now have my little emergency laptop and can edit photos a little more easily. Most excitingly, it looks like there might be some sunshine tomorrow morning so I'm going to go for a wander with t'camera.